Price of healthy food rising faster than that of unhealthy foods

Price of healthy food rising faster than that of unhealthy foods

Figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the Nutrition Centre have revealed that, in spite of efforts by the Dutch government to improve the health of the population of the Netherlands, the prices of healthy foods are rising at a faster rate than the prices of unhealthy products. 

Healthy foods continue to become more expensive

According to CBS and the Nutrition Centre, between 2021 and 2020, the price of healthy foods rose by 21 percent, while unhealthy foods have only become 15 percent more expensive. All in all, food prices have risen by 18 percent over the past 10 years. 

The rising costs are concerning, as it means it’s becoming more and more expensive to lead a healthy lifestyle. Liesbeth Velema from the Netherlands Nutrition Centre suggests that further action needs to be taken by the government in order to ensure people can afford to eat healthily. “It would be nice if the healthy choice became the easy choice," Velema says.

The good news is that the difference in prices has become less noticeable over the past two years, suggesting that the government’s National Prevention Agreement - which is designed to tackle smoking, obesity and problematic alcohol consumption in the Netherlands and improve the health of the population - seems to be working. Between 2018 and 2020, unhealthy foods became 2,3 percent more expensive, while the price of healthy products increased by only 1,8 percent. 

People in the Netherlands spend 7,18 euros per day on food and drink

In the realm of unhealthy foods, ice cream and sweets actually reduced in price over the last decade, meanwhile, the price of butter rose by 66 percent, and the price of unhealthy (fizzy) drinks rose by 17 percent. 

On the other hand, as far as healthy foods are concerned, eggs experienced the sharpest price increase, rising by 47 percent. Both semi-skimmed and skimmed milk rose by 43 percent, and fruit rose by a whopping 26 percent. Vegetables marked a significantly lower increase (only six percent). 

According to the research, in 2020, people in the Netherlands spent an average of 7,18 euros per day on food and drink for home consumption.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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